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Discussion Starter #1
O.K. what is the stock fluid? What color is it. My 04FXT looked clear (abscence of coloration) on the stick but when I changed it at 24k miles it looked like maple syrup or tea. The drain plug was absolutely clean and the fluid didn't smell burned and it was very clear except for the color. At first I though it was toasted tranny signs but I'm thinking it may be the stock color now. Also, I did some figuring and came to the conclusion that if your doing just a drain and fill that doing it twice is better than once but three times is a waste since your draining roughly 3 quarts of good to get at one quart of old fluid. Any thoughts? I did the change because I've had problems getting it to kick into 1st after a stop until after I hit the gas and I did have one episode where the 2nd gear clutch slipped out when I goosed it up a steep hill. Never had a MIL or dash indication of overheat. It doesn't seem to be running hot from the temps I found when I drained it.
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
Joined
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3,969 Posts
Normally, ATF is a light cherry red colour.
 

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Asphalt Surfers Unlimited
2004 Forester XT
Joined
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742 Posts
There are two dipsticks on the auto transmissions!

One is for transmission fluid (driver's side), the other for the front differential (passenger side).


The passenger side dipstick (short) will appear clear when new and will darken with use/age.
The driver's side dipstick (long) will appear red when new, reddish brown with use/age.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
re

-Sigh- Yes, its supposed to be raspberry colored--normally. Yes, I'm using the driver's side dipstick for the ATF. I drained the correct fluid. The diff fluid NORMALLY has an aroma like onions (to me anyway). I would have known immediately if I made that error. I need to eat. I'm starting to get grumpy. The fluid is definitely not cherry colored at all. No red color in it at all. I'm just saying that 23k is kinda early for color changes if its not running hot.
 

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Asphalt Surfers Unlimited
2004 Forester XT
Joined
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742 Posts
Maybe yours was filled with the new Subaru ATF-HP. I'm not sure what the color is on the new fluid.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
The brown color would alarm me, even if it didn't smell burnt. That, coupled with the problems you experienced does not sound good. I would have it looked at.
 

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The convert formely known as Lexusfreak
2003 XS
Joined
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3,969 Posts
Porter said:
There are two dipsticks on the auto transmissions!

One is for transmission fluid (driver's side), the other for the front differential (passenger side).


The passenger side dipstick (short) will appear clear when new and will darken with use/age.
The driver's side dipstick (long) will appear red when new, reddish brown with use/age.
Correct.
 

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Asphalt Surfers Unlimited
2004 Forester XT
Joined
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742 Posts
Discoloration is not necessarily an indication of a breakdown in the fluid.

There are a lot of sealants and assembly lubricants used in the manufacture of an automatic transmission... these will naturally discolor the ATF on a new vehicle with use/heat.

Smell is a better way to evaluate the fluid. Also, feel... it should be slippery and not gritty between your fingers.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
re

That makes me feel a lot better. It was very slick and clean looking. Seems to be shifting better now that the level is up a bit. I definitely am not abusing this thing. I am "mechanically sympathetic" towards it.
 
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